There are three very distinct points of debate
1. Encryption is important to people
2. Most users care about having an encrypted connection.
3. It is impossible to provide government access to encrypted communications without ruining the encryption and allowing (or at least increasing the probability of) criminal access to communications.
Not only are these separate issues they are separate types of issue.
1 requires a philosophical / moral answer
2 just requires a survey
3 requires a technical answer
The problem is that people set themselves up as pro-privacy or pro-security which is an answer to question 1 but they allow that position to bleed in to the answers to questions 2 and 3 when it shouldn't.
The comments section is usually crammed with people who say yes to 1 with such passion that they say yes to 2 and 3 even though 2 and 3 are clearly not true. The oft quoted study where people give up their passwords for a chocolate bar and the negligible change in market share as companies turn on/off encryption disproves 2 and page two of the article gives a good example of a technical method of allowing 3.